You sit in front of a scrumptious dish and want to capture its colour and glisten. Get a picture that makes salivating viewers covet the next bite. Develop your abilities in foodie photography, whether it’s to remember your own digestive endeavours or to help restaurants and publications.
Learn the tricks to style, frame and light these shots so that you capture food at its most camera-ready moment.
“The smallest and lightest X Series model,” by @panaromico, Fujifilm X70
1. Avoid lugging a heavy camera.
As a foodie photographer, you might bounce from one dish to the next and from one restaurant to another. The nimble workflow warrants a lightweight camera body, like one of the Fujifilm X-Series, which boasts a vintage body style that doesn’t look cumbersome as you shoot amid diners.
2. Use lenses with high maximum aperture.
Your foodie photos benefit if you shoot with at least a couple of lenses.
First you want a good macro lens with a high aperture, like the Fujifilm 60mm, which shoots vibrantly at F2.4. That maximum aperture is important because you want to frame tightly yet compose with bokeh, the section that falls out of focus in your frame.
For overhead shots of your plate setting, try a wide lens, like the Fujifilm XF14mmF2.8. For mid-range shots, or if you want a single lens in all situations, the Fujifilm XF35mmF1.4 works well with its bright F1.4 maximum aperture.
3. Set the table before it’s too late!
You have a small time frame to get your shot once a dish is ready, especially if it’s hot. After a while, it slouches in stature and loses its shimmer. Plan your table setting and camera angle in advance.
Think through the entire shot, from plates to props. When plating, you might prefer large, white dishes because of the contrast they create with your meal. Find raw ingredients represented in the food, and set them with plating and cutlery. Remember that plates and props must be perfectly clean—dirt doesn’t encourage the appetite.
“Eat well and stay warm,” by @laurdora, Fujifilm X-T1
4. Think about colour and light.
Colour is important in any of your photos, but it is even more critical in your food photography. If your image is distorted with hues too warm or cool, the viewers won’t crave the next bite. Your X Series camera has white control where you can adjust the colour temperature. To ensure you obtain correct colour select the “WB custom” function, frame a white object (such as a piece of white paper), and press the shutter as your camera reconfigures its balance, alternatively, this can be done in post processing if you are photographing in a RAW file format.
Foodie pictures do not often require multiple light sources. A single light source should suffice, especially if it backlights your image because backlighting brings out the texture of your dish. When possible, use natural light, because artificial sources are more likely to distort with a blue or yellow tint.
With your expertise of foodie photography, you can use your X Series camera to take drool-inducing shots.